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18-Year-Old Faces Felony Charges For Lesbian Relationship

18-Year-Old Faces Felony Charges For Lesbian Relationship

Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old student, is being prosecuted for two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16 years of age, after the parents of her 15-year-old girlfriend pressed charges. If convicted, she would be given a sentence ranging from probation to 15 years in prison and have to register as a sex offender.

The case is causing worldwide outrage, as indeed it should.

The seniors at the high school where I teach are excitedly preparing for graduation right now, but Kaitlyn, or “Kate,” is instead hoping she won’t be forced to go to jail instead of college.

Kate began dating “C.S.”, a fellow teammate on the basketball team, in November. The relationship was apparently well-known to both sets of parents. Both girls were students at Sebastian River High School: Kate was a senior and her girlfriend was about three years younger. Their coach made it clear that he didn’t approve of the relationship, and Hunt was kicked off the team.

According to Kelley Hunt-Smith, Kate’s mother, it was on February 16 that police arrived at the family’s home and put her daughter in handcuffs.

Think Progress reports Hunt-Smith’s belief about why the parents of C.S. sought to have Kate arrested:

They were out to destroy my daughter, they feel like my daughter made their daughter gay. They are bigoted, religious zeolites [sic] that see being gay as a sin and wrong, and they blame my daughter.

As a final insult, the girlfriend’s parents appealed to the school board and had Kate expelled from Sebastian River High School. According to Kate’s mother, the Assistant State Attorney, Brian Workman, has offered Kaitlyn a plea deal of two years house arrest and one year probation. Kaitlyn has until next Friday to accept the plea deal or face a trial.

Law Designed To Protect Kids Being Used To Destroy Kate

This is outrageous. A law that was intended to stop adults from preying on children is being used to destroy a high school senior’s life.

These are high school kids. They date, that’s what happens in high school: boy-girl, girl-girl, boy-boy. Don’t these officials remember being in high school? These are young people exploring their sexuality. That should not be a criminal act.

Just this morning, one of my 15-year-old students walked into class carrying a dozen red roses, a present from her twelfth-grade boyfriend to celebrate the eight months that they had been together. It didn’t occur to me that her boyfriend might be a criminal.

As Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, the state’s largest gay-rights group, puts it: “These are schoolmates, teammates. I suppose every school in Florida should start letting high school seniors know they can face 15 years in prison if they turn 18 before the school year is up.”

Romeo and Juliet Law

Florida does have a “Romeo and Juliet” law that could spare Kaitlyn from being labeled a sex offender for the rest of her life if she is convicted.

From wptv:

The “Romeo and Juliet” law has certain criteria that must be met in order to be applied.

The victim must be at least 14-years-old, have consented to a relationship and the accused can be no more than four years older than their alleged victim.

The latest Statistic shows 241 petitions under the “Romeo and Juliet” law have been granted.

(….)

The Indian River County State Attorney’s Office has suggested a plea deal.

It would allow Hunt to walk away without having to register as a sex offender. She would have to plea guilty to a lesser charge of child abuse, spend two years on house arrest and one year on probation.

Take Action!

But that’s not the point. Kate should never have been arrested in the first place. She is innocent, and this is blatant discrimination.

If you believe that the way Kaitlyn is being treated is outrageous, please sign our petition demanding that all charges against Kaitlyn Hunt be dropped immediately.

 

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Photo Credit: Free Kate Facebook Page

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416 comments

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6:32AM PDT on Jul 13, 2013

Assuming this article is factually correct and these girls have been dating with both sets of parents full knowledge, then it is beyond my comprehension as to how charges can be brought against Kaitlyn by her friends parents or anybody else.
If anyone should be charged it should be the girlfriend's parents for stupidity. How could they allow the relationship to continue for 3 years and then on the day Kaitlyn turns 18 decide it's wrong and bring charges? That has to be extremely poor parenting. They are in need of serious help.
Then we have the comments that Kaitlyn should have been more careful and what stopped her relationship the day she turned 18?
How many of us continued dating our school sweethearts after we turned 18 and in most cases the girls were 2 or 3 years younger which of course means we were all molesters. How stupid.
Had the relationship started after Kaitlyn turned 18 she would have been guilty, It didn't so the verdict has to be not guilty.

11:02AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

if someone of any gender is over 18 they must tread carefully when sexually active with anyone of any gender UNDER 18... I am all for equal rights and such. And sadly if I were 14 or 15 and I had an over 18 bf it could end this way also. This is not solely an issue with LGBT individuals..

9:34AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

I know this seems off topic, but look at this sad thing happening

http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/local/news/appeal-rejected-for-teen-who-got-12-year-old-pregnant-1-5172919

please write about this, if you have not alredy

5:40AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

ah life, I do not know what to believe anymore. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/21/us/hunt-arrest-affidavit.html According to this, (is it a viable source?) She was 18 when the relationship started, and their first encounter was on school grounds. What is so wrong about teenagers expressing their feelings on school grounds? so many of us remember our kisses between classes at our lockers.

What makes it sadder, is the feeling that I have to agree with Barbara Hewson, to some extent. You may rerember her for her words of lowering the age of sexual concent to 13. Now, if America did the same, but not to protect "old men", but to stop something like this from happening again, I am all for it. It sounds terrible to say "a 19 year old should be allowed to have sex with a 13 year old", but just think of the situation between an 18 and 14 year old?

it just gets harder with precocious youths, and then need to be protected from predatory adults. Imagine the horror of a 15 year old connecting with a 25 year old at college? now, those are who we need to protect. But how to countries with low ages function? America must be doing something wrong.

8:43PM PDT on May 29, 2013

Yes, Kevin, I agree with virtually everything you have said about this issue. My one reservation would be in relation to your statement that "...Kate has been very foolish" ... I guess it could be construed that way but, to me, this was just normal behaviour that one might expect at that age - it is the stupidly rigid law that has turned her actions into a negative - not the actions themselves.

11:26AM PDT on May 29, 2013

Well everyone has already lambasted Ashley enough now so I don't feel the need to. Kevin of course brings up my points anyway.....he usually does. But this is common among people who profess to know about homosexuality but in reality have no idea. They are trying to be tolerant and I applaud their effort to be.....but they still have much to learn. People are no more gay because of how they look, than they are because of how they were raised.

9:52AM PDT on May 29, 2013

I don't usually post twice on the same issue but this one is particularly saddening and not least because of the taint of misogyny and homophobia that surrounds it. Ashley D., I could hardly believe my eyes! 'How can she identify as being lesbian at that age? She still has much growing up and maturing to do. She's also too beautiful .. '

Too beautiful to be gay? Where have you been living? Some of the most beautiful women in the world are Lesbian and bi-sexual, including some very good friends of mine.

I remain convinced that Kate Hunt has been very foolish but that sending her to prison will do nobody any good. It seems the adult world has let both these girls down. The case is all over the internet but we have heard little about the role of the school beyond sacking Kate from the basketball team and expelling her when it was already too late - were there missed oportunities to intervene earlier and more effectively? And what of the advice Kate received over the plea deal - she was offered the lesser of two evils and chose the worse. Why? Sadly she now stands little chance of avoiding conviction. The statements of her family's attorney show a puzzling grasp of the facts let alone legal knowledge. Apparently her girlfriend's parents asked Kate twice to drop the affair but never contacted her own parents. Why not? And on and on. If nothing else, hopefully this sorry episode will help to demonstrate the importance of effective and expert sex and relationships education.

5:53PM PDT on May 28, 2013

My niece is 17 years old. She's expecting a baby in September with her 20 yr old boyfriend. They have been together since she was 14. Does that mean they are committing a crime? This is utter bs and I hope she not only gets acquitted but sues those who wrongfully imprisoned/charged her!

7:51AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Ashley, in many parts of the world, this young woman can marry! Are you suggesting she's still ''too young'' to know her own sexuality?

6:39PM PDT on May 27, 2013

Never mind I found out they did

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